Eric Leskowitz, Harvard Medical School
Abstract:The phenomenon of hypnotic trance is generally conceptualized in the interpersonal context of the therapeutic relationship between therapist and patient. However, group trance is a widely recognized phenomenon whose power may stem from intangible and invisible forces that resemble Franz Mesmer’s 200-year-old notion of “animal magnetism.” Technological detection systems can now study this force and are here discussed: in the laboratory, emotional contagion has been monitored by measuring heart rate variability; in the larger setting of a baseball stadium, group-focused attention has been monitored by random number generators. Such studies are beginning to validate the transpersonal model of hypnosis, in which human consciousness is seen as extending beyond the boundaries of the individual personality and brain.
Keywords:hypnosis, transpersonal, trance, subtle energy, electromagnetic field, EMF, heart rate variability, HRV, random number generator
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